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In terms of moving leftward politically, is the US catching up to us (eg. on $15 minimum wage)?

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#1
For the most part Canada is generally more to the left, but I've noticed in some regards the US is catching up both socially (eg. policy and attitudes on same-sex marriage changed faster than I'd expect stateside) and economically (eg. Bernie Sanders' popularity, even if he doesn't really stand a chance as much this election, someone with his views making it this far shows that many Americans are OK with more socialist policies).

I know the US will still be to our right, but do you think in the near future, the gap will shrink? I think some things are hard to change due to the system so that the US is unlikely to be able to approach us in at least short term (eg. single payer health care or free if not cheaper tuition/fees for college and university than us) but already we are seeing some things like the $15 minimum wage in California, which is higher than anything we have, and more so with the exchange rate. If the fight for 15 or even 12 goes national it will still surpass any minimum wage in a Canadian province and on top of that, aside from the biggest cities like NYC, their living costs and costs of things like basic needs such as food/clothing are lower to begin with.

I think among the younger generation (the Millenials as everyone likes to talk about), it's been noted that American Millenials are already not too different from Canadian or European ones on accepting many left-wing ideas, at least compared to past generations.
 
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Johnny Au

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#2
In a few decades, the United States would switch to metric, just like very much every other country in the world (and the metric system is a much more progressive measurement system), along with phasing out pennies and dollar bills (the United States has the Sacagawea Dollar, which is very much the American counterpart to the loonie).

It would be interesting if the United States adopted ISO paper sizes (as in A4 and A3), then Canada and Mexico would also switch to ISO paper sizes; Canada, United States, and Mexico are the only three countries in the world that officially use US paper sizes (as in letter, legal, and ledger).
 
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#3
Yes I think American Exceptionalism is on the decline. Younger Americans are much less hyper-nationalistic, less religious and more open to left-wing ideas.
 
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In a few decades, the United States would switch to metric, just like very much every other country in the world (and the metric system is a much more progressive measurement system), along with phasing out pennies and dollar bills (the United States has the Sacagawea Dollar, which is very much the American counterpart to the loonie).
They've been saying that for quite a while though. They tried to do it under Jimmy Carter and didn't go through even though the US and Canada both tried the switch to metric around a similar time in the 70s. I've noticed quite some variation in how much leftover influence Imperial has versus Metric in Canada -- people still speak of height in feet and inches and weight in pounds, and some food is still sold by the pound. I've noticed younger Canadians/"Millenials" (those born after metrification) as well as more descendants of post 1960s immigrants tending to use Metric far more (eg. saying their height in cm and weight in kg).

As a side note, I've found it kind of ironic that the US uses Imperial/English units and defends it so much as "all-American", despite having basically an identity centered around rebelling/breaking from Imperial England, while England itself now uses Metric!

With regard to the loonie (and the toonie) as well as getting rid of pennies, I must say that it is more convenient when using cash/change so you don't worry about smaller units, though nowadays many people use debit/credit and might not care as much.


Yes I think American Exceptionalism is on the decline. Younger Americans are much less hyper-nationalistic, less religious and more open to left-wing ideas.
Yeah, you can definitely see a trend where the US seems more open to ideas/policies that are more traditionally outside the mainstream, especially ones that come from other countries (look at how Bernie Sanders talks about "we're the only major country that..") as well as more cognizant of people outside their country (maybe it has to do with the internet too where young folks use it more to talk about, and talk to people from, as well as hear news from elsewhere in the world).

I used to think it was kind of arrogant whenever people dismissed any idea outright with the logic that one's country is exceptional so what works elsewhere doesn't apply "here". The thinking that: "Okay, it works for people in country X, but it won't work for us because uniquely American/Canadian... etc.". Almost a form of cultural relativism in a sense. It's true local circumstances are different everywhere and should be considered but no one should close their minds to ideas just based on whether they originated inside or outside your own borders. I think people from any country can learn from any other country when it comes to what works well and what doesn't work.
 
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#5
I must say though there is almost a mentality of Canadian Exceptionalism too -- eg. those who think we're the nicest/friendliest/best quality-of-life/most multicultural country that all others aspire to be like (including the smug idea that Canadians are on the leading edge of progressiveness worldwide and have much to teach everyone else and others like the those in the US will eventually catch up to our progressiveness, which is just as biased a thinking that I myself sometimes catch myself falling into). The image that many people worldwide ascribe to the current PM now somewhat plays to that. However, I do admit that there are some ways the US has strengths that Canada lacks (aside from just being larger and more powerful of course on the world stage) such as being more innovative, competitive in business etc., and which I must give credit where credit is due myself since I studied/worked/spent much time stateside anyway.

All in all, I think the world is getting more interconnected so some sorts of hyper-nationalism in some countries are going away (well, okay, not everywhere as you can see in the news, but in some places like North America -- yes, there's Trump supporters but also Bernie supporters and the latter is more like the face of the future). For example, when people start meeting people from all over the world (whether through new immigration, or travelling or talking to them etc.) and see that they're just "like us" and not incredibly foreign or alien, (yes I realize that it can have the opposite effect but from what I've seen in Canada/the US, young people are getting more tolerant at least in our part of the world, if not elsewhere).
 
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#7
The minimum wage issue is one where some key U.S. states are tacking to the left of Canada, as a whole.

Though, it needs to be said , the much vaunted $15 (with the exception of NYC) is targeted for around 2021, which when you consider inflation is not as great a difference as it may first appear.

I would also note that Nunavut and the North West Territories have or are about to have min. wages well in excess of $12 per hour, while Alberta has publicly committed to $15 by 2019.

In the U.S. you only have 3 states having approved the $15 (or close) thus far. California, Oregon and New York (but only in respect of NYC)

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What is of note, however, is the U.S. is clearly out in front on paid sick days, which have been adopted in 5 states so far. (California, Mass., Vermont, Conn, and Oregon).

Currently, no Canadian provinces have paid sick days in place for workers at large.

That said, one again must balance that in terms of overall left/right perceptions with the fact that the U.S. does not require ANY paid vacation at all.

Currently 25% of Americans have no paid vacation time each year.

So there's a quite a gap to close.

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New York state just adopted paid maternity leave, phased in over the next few years.

Of interest, it will be only 12 weeks; but it will provide 65% income reimbursement, where our program here provides 55% (with the exception of Quebec, which offers 75%.

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They are ahead of us in legalizing marijuana and assisted dying in select states. However, after forthcoming legislation is adopted, Canada will again have done these first on a national or near-national level.

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So I think there are promising signs of a shift in U.S. politics; but whether that will last, and whether that will come to a more fulsome fruition at the national level remains to be seen.